Saturday, June 18, 2016

What To Expect From Altoona Hospice And Palliative Care

By Gannon G. Hollick

The decisions regarding a loved one who is ill can be very taxing and stressful. There are so many issues to consider, and so much for the caretaker to learn. That is where an Altoona hospice and palliative care facility can help. The doctors, nurses and other staff at these facilities know what you are going through and know what to expect when these tragic things happen. Let them be your guide so you can rest easy knowing your loved one is in good hands.

Though hospices and palliative care centers are sometimes combined, they are two different kinds of programs. Hospices are generally for someone who has a life-ending illness, so the focus is one making them comfortable rather than treatment. They may still get medications and treatments, but they are in the service of making them feel better.

On the other hand, palliative care is given to anyone who needs it, but the condition it is helping is not necessarily life threatening. It could be a life altering condition though, which is why doctors and nursing staff are usually needed. Some patients are only temporary in this kind of facility, and could go home if their doctor allows it. They may be in and out of the program as needed, depending on what disease they have.

In both cases, the focus is on the patient's needs to make the transition from either home or hospital as easy as possible. This comfort may be provided in the form of pain medications as prescribed by a doctor, but other alternatives may be used. Some people request spiritual guides such as priests or pastors, while others seek psychological help from a therapist.

There are a lot of emotions that goes with having a family member or friend in one of these facilities, and that is not something that should be ignored. That is why many centers offer additional group or individual therapy for loved ones. Some even have these sessions open to the public, so anyone who needs help can get it.

Not all conditions need the same level or type of care, especially when the disease or injury has to do with the brain. This is especially true in the case of dementia or similar conditions where specialized treatment is an absolute must. Since many places have a special unit for these patients, ask if that would be appropriate for your situation.

If a doctor has recommended this type of facility, then most insurance plans will foot at least part, if not all, of the bill. However, there may be deductibles or co-pays involved as well. Call your plan provider and make sure that all of this is covered that way there are no surprises later on.

One of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make is whether to admit a person you love to this type of program. Thankfully, there are plenty of good Altoona facilities that can provide the best care possible and make the most of a stressful situation.

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